Poppies, lemons and cake

Friday was Poppy Day, the day we in New Zealand buy our poppies prior to Anzac Day.  This year marks the 100 year anniversary of the Anzac troops landing at Gallipoli, and here in Wellington there is a week of events leading up to Anzac Day next Saturday.  The Pukeahu National War Memorial Park opened this morning, and over at Te Papa museum, there is a fantastic looking exhibition created by Weta Studios.  On Friday, there will be a parade in the city, hopefully including a fly past by aircraft of the time, depending on the weather.

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Meanwhile, Saturday’s autumn routine appears to be Xtend Barre, food shopping and then an afternoon of cooking, catching up on blogs, blogging and BBC Radio 4. After eating a piece of a colleague’s lemon and coconut cake at morning tea yesterday, I decided that I really wanted to make one too.  I used a recipe on taste.com.au which produced a good sized loaf shaped cake.  As usual, I did not add the icing, just leaving it plain.

Preheat the oven to 170C.  Grease a loaf tin (the recipe says 11 x 21 cm) and then line with greaseproof paper.  Beat together 200g softened butter (as otherwise it is a nightmare), 200g caster sugar and 1 tablespoon of grated lemon rind until smooth and creamy. Add two eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Stir in 65g desiccated coconut. Then fold in 300g self raising flour, 125ml lemon juice and 60ml milk, in alternating batches, until just combined. Don’t lose track on the way.  Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and smooth the surface.  Bake the cake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Set aside in the tin for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.  If you want to, then ice it.

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Verdict? A nice cake with a decent balance of coconut and lemon.  I must, however, ask my colleague for her recipe which produced a really soft, moist cake instead of this more ‘loaf’ style cake.

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